Hamas Leader in Iran: Our Resistance Won't Change

Hamas leader al-Zahar visits Iran, says the “principles and strategy of the Palestinian Islamic resistance will not change.”

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud al-Zahar
Mahmoud al-Zahar

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar pledged on Thursday that the “principles and strategy of the Palestinian Islamic resistance will not change,” AFP reported.

Al-Zahar made the remarks during a visit to Tehran, arriving in Iran shortly after a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups was announced. The ceasefire came after four days of hostilities in which terrorists fired more than 200 rockets at southern Israel.

Terrorists have continued to launch rockets towards Israel despite the ceasefire.

During a meeting with the Hamas leader, Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi voiced his country's support for Palestinian Authority Arabs.

He condemned Israeli air strikes in Gaza during the recent outbreak of violence, according to AFP, calling them “savage attacks by the Zionist regime against the innocent Palestinian population.”

He added, “Support for the Palestinian population is part of our principles and religious beliefs, and we are certain that the Palestinian people will triumph.”

Al-Zahar reportedly thanked Iran for its “limitless support.”

On Wednesday, al-Zahar met the head of Iran's supreme national security council, Saeed Jalili, and the speaker of Iran's parliament, Ali Larijani, according to the report.

Jalili renewed Iran's unwavering support for the Palestinian cause, AFP said, and cautioned al-Zahar against “plots” seeking to divide the Palestinian resistance.

Al-Zahar’s visit to Iran comes following recent reports of tension between Hamas and the Islamic Republic, over the terror group’s refusal to back Syrian President Bashar Assad during his brutal crackdown on opposition protesters.

A senior Hamas official recently claimed the terror group will not do Iran's bidding in any war with Israel.

In an interview with the British Guardian, Salah Bardawil, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said, “If there is a war between two powers, Hamas will not be part of such a war.”

Al-Zahar last week sent two different signals, when he was asked whether the group would attack Israel if it launches a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

He first denied the group would get involved and told the BBC, “We are not part of any political axis. If Israel attacks us we will respond. If they don't, we will not get involved in any other regional conflict.”

He later denied he made those remarks and told the semi-official Iranian Fars news agency the BBC report was unfounded and a lie.

“Retaliation with utmost power is the position of Hamas with regard to a Zionist war on Iran,” al-Zahar told Fars.